It seems that DJI is finally getting a break from concerns that various government agencies have expressed about the security of the data captured by DJI’s drones. After an independent 15-month testing program that included thousands of drone flights with models such as the DJI Mavic Pro and DJI Matrice 600 Pro, the Department of the Interior (DoI) has validated and approved the DJI Government Edition.
When the DoI started testing in April 2018, the newer Mavic 2 Pro, Zoom and Enterprise Edition had not yet hit the market, so were not included in the test. DJI told DroneDJ that testing has not yet started on the newer Mavic 2 drones, as the Mavic Pro and Matrice 600 tests have just been finished.
See DJI’s press statement below for all the details.
DoI validates DJI government edition
U.S. federal agency validates and approves DJI’s high-security solution for government drone programs
Department of the Interior Completes Independent 15-Month Testing of DJI Government Edition Solution Using Mavic Pro and Matrice 600 Pro Drones
DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, is pleased to announce that its high-security solution for government drone programs, Government Edition, has received independent validation from the U.S. Department of the Interior. The approval was received after a more than 15-month rigorous assessment of the flight, payload, and data management assurance performance of DJI Matrice 600 Pro and Mavic Pro drones equipped with DJI Government Edition firmware and software.
“The Department of Interior’s report validates DJI’s effort to build software and hardware solutions that meet the evolving data security needs of its customers,” said Mario Rebello, vice president and regional manager of North America at DJI. “The DOI has a strong track record of leadership within the US government for its ability to pragmatically evaluate and implement drone technology for use across a wide variety of applications. We appreciate their partnership and value the collaborative effort to help create a DJI drone solution that will allow emergency first responders and others to save lives and effectively manage our public lands. We look forward to continuing to support the Department of Interior and other federal agencies with DJI’s industry-leading drone technology.”
The DOI’s findings were presented in a flight test and technical evaluation report issued last week*. Key findings of the report included:
1. DOI has been working with DJI for over two years to create a solution that would allow its bureaus access to DJI’s high-quality off-the-shelf hardware equipped with custom firmware and software to prevent intentional or unintentional data leakage to any outside entities.
2. Testing of the DJI Government Edition solution began in April 2018 as part of the three-phase testing plan developed by DOI.
3. Testing included 1,133 flights totaling 298 hours on the DJI Matrice 600 Pro and 1,112 flights totaling 240 hours for the DJI Mavic Pro drones.
4. DOI collaborated with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Kennedy Space Center as well as other industry and federal partners with expertise in data management assurance testing to conduct targeted assessments of DJI Government Edition hardware, firmware, and software.
5. During testing there was no indication that data was being transmitted outside the system, confirming that they were operating as promised by DJI.
While DJI customers have full control over how the data they generate with drones is collected, stored and transmitted, DJI Government Edition’s unique architecture ensures that drone data – including photos and videos captured during flight – can never be intentionally or accidentally shared with unauthorized parties. The solution is based on DJI’s industry-leading drone hardware and is controlled by custom device firmware and operational software in a unique architecture that supports high data security requirements:
• No Data Transmission — A permanently enabled Local Data Mode within the custom DJI Pilot application prevents users from accidentally or even intentionally transferring data from the mobile application over the internet to third parties or to DJI.
• Firmware Reviews — Government agency aviation and IT departments can review firmware updates in electronic isolation before applying them to their fleets, and have full control over how to validate them and when to install them on DJI drones.
• Restricted Hardware Pairing — Drones and remote controllers running DJI Government Edition solution firmware can only be linked with each other and are not compatible with other off-the-shelf DJI products, preventing the use of unsecure hardware and unauthorized third-party applications.
The DJI Government Edition solution as validated by the DOI, referred to as DJI Government Edition v1.0**, for DJI Matrice 600 Pro and DJI Mavic Pro drones is available for purchase through select authorized DJI Enterprise resellers in the United States. For more information on all the new features and capabilities of Government Edition, please visit enterprise.dji.com/government.
* Source: Department of the Interior, Flight Test and Technical Evaluation Report, July 2, 2019: https://www.doi.gov/sites/doi.gov/files/uploads/oas_flight_test_and_technical_evaluation_report_-_dji_uas_data_managment_assurance_evaluation_-_7-2-19_v2.0.pdf
**The specific software versions for DJI Government Edition v1.0 as deployed by the DOI are DJI Pilot App version 1.3 19743, DJI Assistant 2 GE Version 9-5
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